Many of the horses in our programs have been donated to High Hopes.
Donating a Horse to the High Hopes Herd
Working in an equine assisted therapy program is a mentally and physically challenging job for our equine friends. A great therapy horse is sound at the walk, trot and canter, with three rhythmic and balanced gaits. The quality of the horse’s movement is what most benefits the participant.
The horse should be obedient to both voice and leg signals, quiet and well-mannered on the ground and accepting of assistive devices and equipment. The horse must work easily in hand, and tolerate one or two people walking and trotting beside it.
We are always looking for new members to join the herd, and prefer horses with the below attributes:
- Overall good/easy going disposition/temperament
- Tolerant of unpredictable/loud/unbalanced riders
- Good confirmation
- Sound at the walk, trot and canter
- ~ 10-18 years old
- ~ 15-17 hh
- Willingness to have a leader/side walker(s)
- Able to live outside with access to a shed, preferably able to live in a group turnout
- Preferably barefoot
- Ideally limited medical/supplemental needs
- Can carry between 160-180 lbs.
- Can be ridden independently by an appropriate rider
- Can be used in both mounted and unmounted activities
What is life like for a High Hopes Horse?
Our horses typically serve two participants per day, five or six days per week. They receive routine hoof care, vaccinations, regular deworming and dental care. We are also able to offer complementary therapies such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and trigger-point myotherapy.
We are fortunately able to have our 24 horses turned out 24 hours per day in small herds at our 120-acre facility, where they always have shelter available in three-sided sheds. Daily care and feeding are provided by the barn staff and a dedicated group of volunteers.
The Horse Trial Process
High Hopes staff will speak with you to learn more about your horse, your interest in our programs and how your horse might fit into them and to explain the prospective horse process in detail.
We will provide you with brief questionnaires for you to complete that detail your horse’s experiences and qualities. If possible, the owner submits a video of the horse being groomed, tacked and ridden.
If your horse seems like a good match, a High Hopes staff member will visit the horse (including groom, tack and ride) in person and make a video of the visit to share with other staff. If your horse suits our current program needs and space at the facility allows, the horse will come to High Hopes for a trial evaluation period of up to 90 days. During the trial, the horse will be ridden and evaluated by our staff and trained volunteers. We will evaluate its temperament, soundness and ability to participate in the program in a manner that is safe and comfortable for all.
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Meet the Herd
Get to know all of our beautiful and intelligent horses who live for their work. These amazing creatures have been working wonders for years.Our Horses
Supporting High Hopes
Your contribution will support our riding program and ensure the ongoing sustainability of our operations, including care of our horses and scholarship support to financially disadvantaged participants.Give
At High Hopes, therapeutic riding and other equestrian activities benefit the bodies, minds and spirits of people with disabilities.Our Mission